Cypher of the First Ones Overview: A Zereth Mortis Quality of Life System
The Cypher of the First Ones is a new Zereth Mortis progression system that provides little to no dungeon / PvP / raid power and is instead focused on enhancing your Zereth Mortis experience and enabling further exploration of its secrets, cosmetics, mounts, pets, and achievements.
You can progress this system and its numerous research nodes with the new Cyphers of the First Ones currency. Each research you do also requires a specific amount of real time when you are doing it on your first character, from 1 minute for the initial node to a full week for the more complex nodes.
In this guide, we will go into detail on what the Cypher can do for you, how to assign points to it, and in which order in order to maximize your benefits.
What is the Cypher of the First Ones
The Cypher of the First Ones is a new unlockable system in patch 9.2 which is unlocked in Zereth Mortis but whose combat effects work across all Shadowlands zones. While extremely powerful, these combat effects will not work in dungeons, raids or instanced PvP, making them exist for fun, rather than something you need to be competitive in a group setting.
Unlocking and Using the Cypher of the First Ones
Inside the northwestern most area of Zereth Mortis is the Exile's Hollow, where the Cypher Research Console is located.
Unlocking the console and your personal robot helper, Pocopoc, is done in the third campaign story chapter, which you can do soon after entering Zereth Mortis. You can also unlock it instantly on alts by choosing the skip dialogue option of Tal-Inara when starting the Zereth Mortis questlines in Oribos.
You use the new Zereth Mortis currency, Cyphers of the First Ones to unlock the various nodes displayed in the picture. You can have multiple researches happening at the same time, as long as they respect their individual prerequisites. Your current total amount is displayed in the currencies tab and at the top right of the research console UI.
You can also open this window to check your progress on a given research item using the following macro, but be aware that you must be at the console itself to start researching anything:
- /run C_Garrison.GetCurrentGarrTalentTreeID=(function() return 474 end)
- /run OrderHall_LoadUI() OrderHallTalentFrame:SetGarrisonType(111, 474);
- /run ToggleOrderHallTalentUI();
There are four types of research: Metrial, Aealic, Dealic, and Trebalim. We will explain each of them and their sub-research nodes in their own sections of the guide below.
Farming the Cyphers of the First Ones Currency
Cyphers of the First Ones drop from multiple activities in Zereth Mortis:
- Storyline campaign (125 from chapter 3 quests, assuming you did not skip the intro);
- Looting rare mobs and treasures (~4 per kill / treasure);
- Puzzle Boxes (15 for the one-time introduction quests, ~3 for each box solved);
- Interacting with one of the three Echoed Jiro NPC types (~4 per interaction, once per day);
- Doing daily quests (~15 per completion);
- Weekly world boss Antros (~80 per kill);
- From the weekly quest Patterns Within Patterns (~140 per completion).
Due to the many sources available, it is possible to spend a lot of time farming Cyphers of the First Ones every day, but the most significant sources are the daily quests and weekly activities, with the rest coming as more of a bonus while you are running around the zone doing the quests.
Cypher of the First Ones Node Order
Due to their significant Cyphers of the First Ones cost and the time that some nodes require to be researched, an unlocking order can be helpful in order to get the more powerful nodes as quickly as possible.
Your priorities may vary, as there is no Raid / Mythic+ / PvP player power involved with the Cypher nodes, but nodes such as Altonian Understanding can speed up your research significantly by unlocking items such as Improvised Cypher Analysis Tool, and are thus useful to pick up quickly.
Here is our suggested order for the quickest start with this system, with quick explanations for the reasoning behind each node:
- Metrial Understanding (5 Cyphers, instant research, prerequisite for next node);
- Cachial Understanding (45 Cyphers, 1h research, allows you to complete daily puzzle boxes for more Cyphers);
- Creatian (25 Cyphers, 5 sec research, enables a buff that improves Progenitor Essentia drops when gathering or looting treasures and allows you to get extra Cyphers of the First Ones from the first Echoed Jiro interactions of the day)
- Aealic Understanding (45 Cyphers, 18h research, prerequisite for next node);
- Altonian Understanding (160 Cyphers, 5d 18h research, unlocks Improvised Cypher Analysis Tool);
After this point you have all the essential nodes for speeding up Cyphers of the First Ones and Progenitor Essentia farming and can take any of the other nodes at your leisure.
One particularly interesting option for collectors is Dealic Understanding, which allows you to take control of Coreless Automa all around Zereth Mortis. These are necessary in order to collect some of the treasures available. Also, it unlocks the Synthesis Forge, which can be used to create pets and also mounts once you have Sopranian Understanding unlocked through the Protoform Synthesis system!
The Cypher Equipment Level information at the top of the research console UI is a measure of how many Cyphers of the First Ones you have used for unlocking research nodes thus far, and affects the item level Cypher gear drops at, from 233 at 1/6 to 252 at 6/6.
Special effects such as the one previewed above are present on some of the gear that drops in Zereth Mortis. There are three types of effects, and you can only equip one of each:
- Pocopoc Harmony powers enhance your robot companion's ability to find treasure, combat abilities or improve its energy management;
- Personal Melody powers are quality of life features, allowing you to self-resurrect, move faster or jump to a nearby spot;
- Battle Rhythms powers improve your combat abilities, decreasing damage dealt and increasing damage taken by your target, granting you a powerful socket effect or periodically dealing damage to your target.
The type of effect you can get depends on the slot and armor type and there are three kinds of power per slot. While all of them are useful in their niches, Battle Rhythms tend to be the most useful while soloing hard content, with the special socket being especially powerful once you can socket Cypher Enhancements into it with an advanced research.
Metrial Cypher Research
This research enables Pocopoc and allows you to interact with lore nodes all across Zereth Mortis. It also allows you to research the sub-nodes below it.
This node allows you to interact with various puzzles caches across the map, which reward Cyphers of the First Ones when solved. Often, solving one of these caches is the objective of a world quest, and you can ask Pocopoc to warn you when there are caches nearby, or to solve one instantly for a high energy cost.
There are multiple types of caches, each of which is a different type of puzzle. We will be explaining the logic on how to solve each of them in the Puzzle Solutions sub-section below, but the Zereth Mortis Puzzle Helper addon will allow you to solve puzzles in a simple way; it will generally be slower than just solving the puzzles yourself once you are experienced with them, however.
This power has four ranks and allows you to activate Echoed Jiro statues found in Zereth Mortis. There are three types of buffs you can get from these statues depending on the statue type:
- Echoed Jiro Genesii grant Gift of the Genesii, which translates into better odds at Progenitor Essentia when looting treasures and gathering.
- Echoed Jiro Creatii grant Gift of the Creatii, which give you 3% extra movement speed every time you kill an enemy, stacking up to 15 times.
- Echoed Jiro Nascii grant Gift of the Nascii, which reduces your aggro range and stacks twice.
Echoed Jiro statues are spread all across Zereth Mortis, but you can only use the south-west statues with rank 1, and progressively unlock the ability to use all the statues in the zone.
This power allows Pocopoc to automatically seek out nearby Echoed Jiro statues, also marking them on the minimap.
Once this node is researched you can access a new cypher UI interface to customize Pocopoc's appearance.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are multiple rows which allow you to customize Pocopoc's appearance details to your heart's content.
Cypher Puzzle Box Solutions
Because the Cachial Understanding puzzles can be hard to understand, we have explained them in depth alongside example solution images below. As a reminder, you may also make use of the Zereth Mortis Puzzle Helper addon to assist you in solving these, though once you are experienced you will be faster doing them manually!
Cantaric Cache Puzzles
In the Cantaric puzzles, the objective is to power down all of the nodes by toggling whole lines on and off within 7 moves. You can solve this type of puzzle by identifying lines arranged in an equal fashion and toggling all of them before moving on to differently arranged lines, as shown in the picture.
Mezzonic Cache Puzzles
In the Mezzonic puzzles, the objective is also to power down all of the nodes, but you do this by clicking individual nodes, which toggles the status of the node you clicked and also that of the directly adjacent nodes in non-diagonal directions.
As shown in the picture, the strategy is to push the active nodes to the corners, and ideally always in the same direction, as it is much easier to fully extinguish a set of nodes in the corners, which you will need to do eventually in order to finish the puzzle.
Fugueal Cache Puzzles
In the Fugueal puzzles, the objective is to select three icons that either all share a pattern or do not share any pattern. There are four characteristics to look out for: the shape in the center, how many shapes in the center, the shape of the border, and how many borders.
These puzzles can be quite difficult, as most combinations will fail due to only partially matching one of the four criteria. First of all, it can be quite hard to distinguish between single border and double border, the best way to tell is to look for any dark spaces between light in the border, as that will mean it is at least a double border node, and triple border nodes are quite easy to tell apart from the rest.
Once you figured out how to always distinguish the borders, the mental strategy that worked best for us is to think of it like the Mists of Tirna Scithe shape labyrinth: match two compatible nodes first and then look for the type that will fit as 3rd. If there is none, try a different combination and repeat until you get a match, which usually makes the rest of the puzzle trivial!
Glissandian Cache Puzzles
In the Glissandian puzzles, the objective is to create long lines of same-colored tiles by swapping the position of existing tiles. In our example picture, the puzzle was completed with that single swap, which created a huge chain reaction. As long as you keep creating matches with your swaps you will be done with this puzzle in no time.
Toccatian Cache Puzzles
In the Toccatian puzzles, the objective is to swap around the circles in order to have none of the connecting lines crossing each other. The ideal way to do this is to try and create shorter lines with your swaps, which are easier to limit to a small zone in the game area.
Aealic Cypher Research
This research allows you to interact with Enhancement consoles located in the fly path hubs of Zereth Mortis. By using Pocopoc energy, you can get temporary enhancements from the consoles, or permanent sockets for Cypher gear once more research has been unlocked.
Unlocking this node allows you to start the Jiro to Hero questline beginning with the quest Broken Circle, which eventually unlocks Olea Manu as a vendor who sells Improvised Cypher Analysis Tool, and a new daily quest. As getting 50% extra Cyphers of the First Ones is a huge research boost, this is one of the highest priority nodes to rush early on.
By leveling this node, you will be able to have the effect of 3+ Enhancements active simultaneously.
Ranking up this node reduces the Pocopoc energy cost of Enhancements, allowing you to get more of them in a shorter time frame.
Each rank on this node increases the time your Enhancements last further.
Researching Elic allows you to socket the non-rare Enhancement powers into Cypher gear with special sockets, making those powers permanent while in the Shadowlands outdoor zones and Oribos.
Dealic Cypher Research
Once you unlock this node, Pocopoc can be commanded to take control of coreless automa all across Zereth Mortis. While most of these are only useful as combat allies, there are a few who can help you reach special treasures, such as the Automa circled in orange on the picture below.
This node also allows you to access and use the Synthesis Forge, located to the south of Pilgrim's Grace, the right-most flight path town area as pointed out in the map below. With this forge, you can create new pets and mounts exclusive to Zereth Mortis through the Protoform Synthesis system.
Researching Sopranian Understanding allows you to create mounts in the forge as part of Protoform Synthesis, and also unlocks extra questlines and daily quests around Zereth Mortis.
Corial allows Pocopoc to mark Coreless Automa you can interact with in the minimap. Pocopoc will also become able to track small treasure chests and special Herbalism and Mining nodes which can be harvested without profession requirements, with the downside that these are typically placed in elevated places that are difficult to reach without flying.
Destrian increases the combat power and health of controlled Coreless Automa.
Allian increases the duration and reduces the cooldown on Coreless Automa combat abilities.
Enrian increases the energy regeneration rate of Pocopoc. Energy is used to open puzzle boxes, generate enhancements, control automa, and other Pocopoc-related activities.
Trebalim Cypher Research
Trebalim is all about enhancing Pocopoc's combat abilities, allowing it to specialize into DPS or healing.
This node allows you to control special Coreless Guardian vehicles around the area which can be piloted by multiple players.
This node's first rank increases Pocopoc's damage during Aggressive combat focus by adding a damage-over-time component to his offensive ability. The second rank adds a 6-second silence to this ability.
Suplim's first rank augments Pocopoc's Supportive combat focus by making his healing ability also create a large barrier on the target. The second rank causes his healing ability to stun nearby enemies for 3 seconds.
The final node, Maxlim, increases Pocopoc's maximum energy.
- 25 Feb. 2022: Typo fix and added Visial UI and explanation.
- 23 Feb. 2022: Added Puzzle Box helper addon.
- 16 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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